The Precision Knob


Precision used to be a goal, but increasingly it is being used as a tool. This is true for processing and algorithms, where less precision can greatly improve both performance and battery life. And it is true in manufacturing, where more precision can help minimize the growing impact of variation. Moreover, being able to dial precision up or down can help engineers see the impact on a system... » read more

EDA, IP Revenue Down


EDA and IP revenue dropped 3.1% in Q4 2018 to $2.570 billion, versus $2.652 billion in the same period in 2017, ending a streak of 11 consecutive positive quarters of growth, according to the statistics released today by the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance. One quarter doesn't indicate a trend, but it certainly gets everyone's attention after nearly three years of positive news. Now ... » read more

The Long And Detailed Road To Automotive Compliance


Compliance with automotive safety requirements is slowing down both innovation and participation by a flurry of startups as the whole ecosystem struggles to bring autonomous vehicles to reality. This is particularly onerous for chipmakers, which face a high bar for IC integrity and reliability. They must meet specifications and be free of design errors. Improper behavior in corner-case s... » read more

Fibonacci And Honey Bees Have Something In Common: A Sweet Spot For Formal


Time flies and the OneSpin’s Holiday Puzzle tradition has reached its third year. In December 2016, OneSpin challenged engineers everywhere to solve the Einstein riddle using assertions and a formal verification tool. In December 2017, the challenge was to model the hardest Sudoku in the world using assertions and find a solution with a formal tool. In addition, participants had to prove that... » read more

Using Less Power At The Same Node


Going to the next node has been the most effective way to reduce power, but that is no longer true or desirable for a growing percentage of the semiconductor industry. So the big question now is how to reduce power while maintaining the same node size. After understanding how the power is used, both chip designers and fabs have techniques available to reduce power consumption. Fabs are makin... » read more

How To Build An Automotive Chip


The introduction of advanced electronics into automotive design is causing massive disruption in a supply chain that, until very recently, hummed along like a finely tuned sports car. The rapid push toward autonomous driving has changed everything. This year, Level 3 autonomy will begin hitting the streets, and behind the scenes, work is underway to design SoCs for Level 4. But how these chi... » read more

Embedded FPGA Basics


You do not need know about FPGAs to integrate reconfigurable RTL into your SoC: our software maps your RTL into our EFLX array for you.  But if you are curious, read on. FPGAs are field programmable gate arrays. They offer a different kind of programmability from processors.  Processors are sequential while FPGAs enable massive parallelism.  A processor has one adder, one multiplier—an ... » read more

Collaborative IC Design Mandates Integrated Data Management


Over the last decade, design teams have encountered increased competition due to globalization (requiring the best available engineers irrespective of location), an exponential increase in design complexity, and shrinking market windows. This results in teams of engineers with different skill sets (for example analog, digital, MEMS, and RF), spread across multiple sites, managing complex flows,... » read more

ISO 26262:2018, 2nd Edition: What Changes?


If you’re involved somehow in design for automotive electronics, you probably have more than a cursory understanding of the ISO 26262 standard. What your organization is working from is most likely the 2011 definition. The most recent update is formally known as ISO 26262:2018, less formally as ISO 26262 2nd Edition. Figure 1. Overview of the ISO 26262:2018 series of standards (Source IS... » read more

Pushing AI Into The Mainstream


Artificial intelligence is emerging as the driving force behind many advancements in technology, even though the industry has merely scratched the surface of what may be possible. But how deeply AI penetrates different market segments and technologies, and how quickly it pushes into the mainstream, depend on a variety of issues that still must be resolved. In addition to a plethora of techni... » read more

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